Damen Shipyards Group recently visited Adelaide to further consolidate their partnership with ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs Marine and Defence (Forgacs) (ASC Forgacs Shipbuilding) to build 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Australian Navy and to explore domestic and export opportunities for both the commercial and naval markets.
Roland Briene, Damen’s Area Director Asia Pacific, also highlighted two important milestones for Damen in Australia: the fifth anniversary of Damen’s Australian company, Damen Services Brisbane, and the intention to establish a second long-term service hub in support of the SEA 1180 program.
Damen, as one of the three designers competing for the OPV program, is fully committed to consolidating their commitment to Australia. Approaching the delivery of their 100th vessel to the Australian market, Damen has built more than 6,000 vessels, with close to 1,000 of these constructed with partner shipbuilders from all over the globe.
Recent examples include the successful build and delivery of two frigates for the Indonesian Navy, partnering with the Indonesian Government-owned PT-PAL shipyard in Surabaya; 10 OPVs for the Vietnamese Coastguard and Navy, built in a Government-owned shipyard in Haiphong, Vietnam; 80 ships for the commercial market with a privately-owned shipbuilder and operator in Brazil; construction of the Dutch Joint Support Ship, HMNLS Karel Doorman, for the Royal Netherlands Navy at a Damen-owned shipyard in Romania.
This experience of building quality ships in partner shipyards is the hallmark of Damen’s Technical Cooperation (DTC) Department – an organisation consisting of experienced shipbuilders covering every discipline. The sole aim of the Department is to transfer the necessary skills and intellectual property to enable local shipyards to excel. This experience will be vital to assist the Australian Government with the successful delivery of the Naval Shipbuilding Plan and personnel from the joint partnership have already been collaborating with Damen to begin cross pollinating knowledge and experience
Earlier this year Damen hosted four separate industry briefings to ensure the maximisation of Australian content for the program. The result of this ongoing dialogue means key Australian suppliers have already been included in Damen’s global supply chain and will also have the opportunity to team with experienced overseas suppliers.
Damen, who will be the prime contractor with responsibility for the delivery of the 12 ships on time, on budget, has teamed with ASC Forgacs Shipbuilding to compete for the foundation project of Australia’s continuous Naval shipbuilding enterprise. This relationship is already bearing fruit, with Forgacs Marine & Defence in line to build some specialist marine equipment for a Damen commercial customer in WA.
Roland Briene, Damen Area Director Asia Pacific, said: “We love building ships, it’s what we do, and the opportunity to capitalise on our extensive Australian knowledge, gained during our 20 years of supplying Damen quality into the country, and work with ASC Forgacs Shipbuilding into the future is very exciting. We are fully committed to maximising Australian industry participation and I am extremely confident we will grow to become an integral part of the foundation of Australia’s national shipbuilding enterprise. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth to maximise opportunities for Australian industry and providing opportunities for local industry to be involved in our global supply chain supporting more than 70 shipyards around the world.”
Pictured, left to right, are: Mike Deeks (CSC, Managing Director Forgacs Marine and Defence), Mark Lamarre (CEO ASC Shipbuilding), Roland Briene (Area Director Asia Pacific, Damen Shipyards Group).